Having mentioned the empty desks and all the staff who are now on holiday in my blog below, I wanted again to say a big thank you to all who will be working over the festive period.
I know that they were rightly highlighted in the joint message that the Lord Provost, the Council Leader and myself put onto the Zone earlier this week, but the work the Council does simply can’t stop entirely at a time when the vast majority of us are on holiday and as a result I think it is only right to underline my gratitude to those colleagues in various teams across the Council who will continue to provide key services over the coming ten days.
As I write this on Christmas Eve it’s clear from the ranks of empty desks in both Marischal and the Town House that it is more than likely that the majority of people reading this will be doing so when we’re all back at work in January.
I wanted to take the opportunity once again to thank each and every member of the Council team for the work they have done during the year drawing to a close and to put on record now my appreciation of the work to be done in the coming year. Whenever possible (and some individuals and teams are still far too reticent about letting the rest of us know about the great work they are doing) I mention in this blog on a satisfyingly regular basis the prizes and awards with which our efforts for the people of Aberdeen are recognised. However, I also well appreciate the quality of the work done by our teams every day across the City – it might not win the national plaudits but it is nevertheless vital to the individuals, families and communities we serve.
The highlight of my working week is very often when I take the opportunity to visit colleagues in their workplace and hear from them direct about their work with the Council. I’ll once again be carving as much time as possible out of my diary in 2016 to ensure that I can continue to do this. I’d be delighted to receive an invitation to visit from any team who’d like to meet, its tea with milk and two sugars please.
The new year will see new developments in both the Council’s recognition of long service and the Star Awards celebrating the achievement of individuals and teams. The latter is to expand to become a wider staff thanks and recognition (Star) programme. Look out for details in the coming weeks. I know I speak for all of ECMT when I say that we are determined to make a tangible difference to the experience of working for the Council and meaningful schemes that show the Council’s appreciation of the work done on its behalf are key to this. However, ECMT does not have all the answers and I’d encourage everyone to make use of the recently re-launched Ideas Hub to share suggestions on how we can change for the better.
The year ahead is bound to offer challenges, but there’ll be opportunities too. Given what we’ve achieved this year, I’m confident that we can meet them both.
As you may know, the day began with a fire in the Balnagask area and the need for a number of residents to evacuate their homes.
I once again wish to put on record both my thanks to all Council colleagues involved this morning and my appreciation for the seamless partnership working that took place with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, SEPA and the Red Cross.
Thank you to all.
A quick note of thanks to all members of the Council teams involved and to our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland for making it possible to have Harlaw Academy re-open so swiftly after the weekend’s events.
More evidence of excellent partnership working and individuals being prepared to go above and beyond when the need arises.
I am currently sending out e-mail Christmas cards to the many external contacts I work with on behalf of the City Council throughout the year and I thought you might be interested in seeing the image I’m using this year.
I’m sure you’ll recognise it.
With Advent Calendar windows now being opened each morning, it seems like a good time to express my thanks to all Council colleagues and those from partner organisations for all the hard work that has gone in to the run of Winter Festival and Christmas launches and activities that have taken place over the last few days.
From the Christmas Tree switch-on at Castlegate, through the lighting of Marischal College, through the launch of the Aberdeen Christmas Village to the reindeer parade and the Christmas lights switch-on parade all have gone very well and there’s a real festive buzz about the City. With the nativity scene in the St Nicholas Kirkyard now blessed we are well on the way to the big day itself. Plenty of work to still be done at the Council of course, but the holiday season is clearly coming into view in the distance!
Finally, there are few things in life that can be predicted with any certainty, but I can state now that I will not be experiencing the Big Bomber ride on Union Terrace!!